Current news which has caught hot air is Minister-Designate Mr. Ignatius Baffour-Awuah who claims government over the four (4)-year period (2017-2021) was able to create 3 million jobs.
In an extensive discussion among labour experts in Ghana on the Joy News Channel which was keenly monitored by the THE PUNCH GHANA, labour Analyst, Mr. Mohammed Affum opined that Ghana’s economy is constricted, interest rates are high and this makes it extremely difficult for citizens to create their own jobs and contribute to the growth of the private sector.
“There are several countries in the world where interest rate is below 1% whiles in Ghana interest rate is 20%”, he further added.
It’s extremely sad to hear the incumbent government say they have created 3 million jobs when thousands have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic and prior to that, many people were still unemployed. Adding the job losses of the pandemic to the ones who were already at home plus students who graduated from tertiary in 2020 who will be seeking jobs primarily in 2021 presents a clear evidence that the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations statistic does not hold any water.
One of the areas Mr. Affum highlighted which needs to be taking seriously is the relationship between the labour department and tertiary institutions.
He said “government must liaise with tertiary institutions to be able to know the jobs available in the labour market so that university authorities will design courses and programs which will give students hands-on experience which will see them make a smooth transition from school to work”.
There are several programmes which are offered by public and private tertiary institutions which are not even practiced in Ghana. Aerospace Engineering although great in the eyes of several individuals will not get all the graduates of the course employed within six (6) months of graduation because Ghana has not extensively invested in airplanes.
Mr. Affum concluded that “although the government claims it has provided 3 million jobs, one vital thing it has failed to take into account is gainful employment. The jobs created do not come with a great salary and does not provide any additional benefits to employees”.
NABCO has been extremely helpful in many ways but the amount of money being paid (GHC 700) when you factor personal expenses such as transportation, rent and utility payments into account does not gainfully sustain citizens who are part of that program.
The data provided is just guess work but the government can invest in the labour department to conduct appropriate research to help provide citizens with the right statistics, so that it will be able to plan the economy well and liaison with appropriate stakeholders to help solve this crisis.